There aren’t enough star-for-star trades in the NBA right now and one that would be a win-win is a Damian Lillard for Darius Garland trade.
Both of those players are very much valued by their respective teams – Portland and Cleveland but that also means that the trade would be worthwhile.
The Cavs went down in the first round of the playoffs to the Knicks and it was obvious their lack of experience and depth were of the main reasons for their early exit.
The team needs to complement Mitchell by adding more accurate shooters. Players like Isaac Okoro (30.8 percent) and Cedi Osman (30.0 percent) struggled from beyond the arc in the first round, so the Knicks were able to easily slow Garland and Mitchell down. Lillard shot a highly efficient 46.3 percent from the field this season, while averaging 32.2 points and 7.3 assists.
Garland has had an impressive first four NBA seasons. The guard averaged 21.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists in the regular season and stepped up in a big way in the absence of Donovan Mitchell at times.
Him and Mitchell have had a fairly successful first year together but as much as their relationship will continue to develop, Mitchell may not remain in Cleveland long term.
“The formula wouldn’t have to change for Cleveland; it would just be turbo-charged by Lillard’s arrival” B/R’s Zach Buckley wrote.
“Having him and Mitchell in the same backcourt sounds like a cheat code come to life.”
Plus, having a high-caliber player like Lillard would instantly elevate Cleveland into the championship conversation.
32-year-old Lillard has made it very clear that he won’t stick around in Portland if they decide to rebuild with young players and has made his desire for a chip abundantly clear.
With the way Lillard is talking, the Blazers should just rip the bandaid off and part ways this offseason.
Signing 23-year-old Garland would be perfect if Portland did want to plan a rebuild that could include solid players like Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe.